Mar 29, 2009

Royal succession: Age of Kings begat Masterpiece

The first big British TV import and a model for PBS's Masterpiece, the BBC's 15-part An Age of Kings, is available now for the first time in 40 years, J. Hoberman writes in the Sunday New York Times. (The set on DVD sells for $32.99 at Compiled from Shakespeare's history plays — from Richard II, through the Henrys to Richard III — the series was broadcast live in Britain in 1959, with Judy Dench when she was younger but lovely nevertheless, and imported on kinescopes. Two non-network commercial stations aired it first and then National Educational Television. David Stewart looked back at the series in Current.

Boucher details work ahead

Rick Boucher (D-Va.), new head of the House Communications, Technology & Internet Subcommittee, recently laid out his priorities for Broadcasting & Cable magazine. They include reauthorization of the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act, which allows distant viewers, mainly rural, to receive network signals even if they cannot get a local affiliate delivered over the air. Boucher also wants to tackle Universal Service reform, industry funding of telecommunications service to hard-to-reach areas.